Hi to my Forum Friends,

On the Religion Forum over the years, there have often been discussions about the Rapture.  Most Conservative Christian believers, such as me, believe that the Rapture of the church, the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ -- will occur "like a thief in the night" (imminency, i.e., that Jesus Christ will return, but, no one except God knows the time) and, then, in a short time after the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin.

Our Liberal Christian brethren either deny the Rapture altogether (Roman Catholic, etc.) or believe that the Rapture will occur in the middle of the Tribulation period (MidTrib) or that it will occur after the Tribulation (PostTrib).

We know that our Roman Catholic brethren deny the Rapture -- because it conflicts with their church's teaching of Purgatory, which cannot be supported from Scripture.

The two latter beliefs are also impossible to support from Scripture -- for if MidTrib, then that denies the imminency of His return for His church, i.e., the Rapture, as taught in Scripture.  If we follow the MidTrib clock, when the Tribulation begins -- just count 3 1/2 years and there is the Rapture, no imminency. 

 

And, if a PostTrib return, i.e., Rapture, is true -- how will the Bride of Christ attend the Wedding Feast of the Lamb -- if she is still on earth waiting for a PostTrib Rapture?  So, you see, a PreTrib Rapture is all that makes sense.

In the latest issue of The Berean Call newsletter, in the Q&A section, there is a question and answer which addresses this question very well.

 

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How Can You Believe In A Rapture And Resurrection

At The Beginning Of The Great Tribulation?
Dave Hunt, Tom McMahon - The Berean Call, August 2011 issue
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9326


Question:   Christ said, "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."  In view of such Scriptures, how can you believe in a Rapture and Resurrection at the beginning of the Great Tribulation?   Doesn't Revelation 20:4-5 teach that the "first resurrection" takes place after the Battle of Armageddon?

Response:   Beware of teaching that is built on one isolated verse.  What do "first resurrection" and "last day" mean?  The answer can only be found in the context of all Scripture.  In John 5:28-29, Jesus spoke of two resurrections:


The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the [1] resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the [2] resurrection of da-m-nation.

 

Undoubtedly Revelation 20:4-5 refers to the resurrection of life.  That the reference is not to the resurrection of all believers, however, but only those martyred by Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, is clearly stated: "them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark...."

Then what about Abraham, David, Peter, Paul, Spurgeon, Moody, and Christians who have died more recently, none of whom was slain by Antichrist?  When are they resurrected?  At the Rapture, as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 declares, "the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together...to meet the Lord in the air."  No mention of that in Revelation 20, so it must have already occurred -- another argument for a pretrib Rapture.

The only resurrection after Revelation 20:4-5 takes place 1000 years later and must be what Christ called "the resurrection of da-m-nation."  Those who are raised then are still "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph 2:1; Col 2:13): "And I saw the dead, small and  great, stand before God; and the books were opened...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the  books..." (Rev 20:12).  This is the Great White Throne Judgment of the lost.

As for Christians, they have already "appear[ed] before the judgment seat of Christ" (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10) right after the Rapture.   In Revelation 19:7-9, we read of "the marriage supper of the Lamb" involving, of course, His bride, the church (Eph 5:23-32).

When and how did she (the Bride of Christ) get to heaven?  Obviously, at the pretrib Rapture!  She is clothed in fine linen, white and clean (v. 8).  Next, Christ descends with "the armies which were in heaven...[also] clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (v. 14) to confront and destroy Antichrist at Armageddon.  Surely the church comprises that army.

Enoch prophesied that Christ would return to this earth "with ten thousands [i.e., an innumerable company] of his saints, to execute judgment" upon Antichrist and his followers (Jude 14-15).  Zechariah 14:4-5 states that when Christ comes to earth to rescue Israel and "His feet stand in that day upon the mount of Olives...all the saints" come with Him.  Surely these are not disembodied spirits waiting to be resurrected!  The saints who accompany Christ from heaven (Rev 19) to reign on earth must be in their glorified bodies  -- and they must have been taken to heaven previously in order to descend from there with Him at Armageddon.

That this resurrection in Revelation 20 involves only "the souls of them" who were martyred by Antichrist is a clear indication that all other saints have been previously resurrected.  Then why wait until after Armageddon for these martyrs to be raised?

We are told why.  Some of these same souls are seen earlier:


I saw under the altar the souls of them ...slain for the word of God...and it was said unto them, that they should  rest...until their fellow servants also...that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Rev 6:9-11)


Since all Great Tribulation martyrs are resurrected together -- and Antichrist kills believers to the very end -- their resurrection must await the end of Armageddon.  If the resurrection of believers who lived and died prior to the Tribulation took place seven years previously, why is the resurrection in Revelation 20 of those slain by Antichrist called "the first resurrection"?  Clearly, it is in order to show that these martyrs are part of that company which has already been resurrected, the church.  It specifically says that they "reign with him [Christ] a thousand years" (Rev 20:6) as do the saints of all ages.

What about Christ raising all believers "at the last day"?  This "last day" is surely not the 24-hour period in which these martyrs are raised, for there are many more days that follow.  The "last day" is a lengthy period of time called "the day of the Lord [God]" (Isa 2:12; Jer 46:10; Eze 30:3; Joel 1:15, etc.) or "the day of Christ" (1 Cor 1:8; Phil 1:10; 2 Thess 2:2).  It "comes like a thief in the night" when men are saying "peace and safety" (1 Thess 5:2-3) and do not expect Christ to return or God's judgment to fall but boast  that "all things continue as they were from the beginning" (2 Pet 3:3-4,10).

Clearly this "day" cannot begin with the Millennium, for it involves God's wrath upon mankind prior thereto.  Nor can it begin "as a thief" in the midst of the Tribulation, for by Revelation 6 the world is in ruins and men are crying out to the rocks to hide them from God's wrath.  It can only start at the beginning of the Tribulation with the Rapture and resurrection.  It must also last until the end of the Millennium and the destruction of the old universe, for Peter says, "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the  which the heavens shall pass away...the day of God, wherein the heavens...shall be dissolved...we...look for new heavens and a new  earth" (2 Pet 3:10-13).

 Bold, underline, and italic emphasis in this article is mine.

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I believe you will also find the main article in the August 2011 issue of The Berean Call newsletter very interesting.  It is titled "From  Oprah to Oz -- And Beyond."   You can read the full article at:  http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9322

Below is an excerpt to get you started


She (Oprah) then further identified the God to whom she referred: "I'm talking about the same one you're talking about.  I'm talking about Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, the Omnipresent, the Ultimate Consciousness, the Source, the Force, the All of everything there is, the One and Only G-O-D"

If it's still not clear to you exactly who or what this "One and Only G-O-D" is, you're not alone.  All the commentaries that I've read regarding Oprah's farewell program have noted that reviewers also were confused about the deity to whom she paid homage.

What should be clear is that the "Jesus" and the "God" whom she describes are not the biblical Jesus and God.  But that may not be so clear for some -- especially those who consider themselves Christians and who think that Oprah is talking about the same Jesus in whom they believe.

 

To read other issues of The Berean Call visit the web site:  http://www.thebereancall.org/Newsletter/index.php

And, to get a FREE subscription via snail mail -- while on that page, click on the big red SUBSCRIBE button on the top right of the page.

For over 40 years, Dave Hunt has been writing Christian apologetic books and speaking at churches and conferences.  In 1992, he joined forces with Tom McMahon -- who spent half his adult life in the Roman Catholic church before moving to the Protestant faith -- and the two of them founded and have been the movers behind The Berean Call, a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation which exists to:  Alert believers, Exhort believers, Supply believers, Mobilize believers, and Impact the church of Jesus Christ with the necessity of trusting the Scriptures as the only rule of faith, practice, and a life pleasing to God.

Personally, I have been receiving and studying The Berean Call newsletter for many, many years -- and, God willing, one day I will be able to give back to that ministry, financially, for all they have given me through their writings.  But, that is not a requirement to receive and read this great Christian resource.

I will end with one qualification.  While I respect and have learned a great from Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon over the years, I do not always agree 100% with all they write.  But, to be honest, in the 24 years I have been a Christian, I have never met any person with whom I agree 100%.  Is that a fault with them -- or with me?  No, not really.  It just says that we are all human and, as such, we do err at times.  Only God is perfect.  The rest of us must learn to make allowances for one another.

In the same vein, let me say that, in the 24 years I have been a Christian -- I doubt, very seriously, there is anyone who has agreed with me 100%.  So, I ask you to also make allowances for me -- and to test everything I write against Scripture (Acts 17:11).

I will make this declaration.  When I share a writing from The Berean Call or any other source, it is because I do agree with what they have written -- or, I will insert a qualifying statement.   In this article from The Berean Call, we are on the same page.

I pray this is useful to you.  If so, please feel free to share it with your Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors -- all your FRANs.  Let's all keep sharing the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- until His imminent return.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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The notion (as conceived in the current premillennialist concept of the "rapture") that there will be a resurrection of the righteous dead  separate in time from the resurrection of the unrighteous dead is a false teaching.  In support of this, I submit the following words from John 5: 

 

 26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

 27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

 28Marvel not at this: for the hour [ "the hour," which is clearly the same "hour" for both the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead] is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, ["all that are in the graves" means ALL of them--the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead]

 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of d a m nation.

 

Citing these same verses, Bill says, "In John 5:28-29, Jesus spoke of two resurrections."  What Bill leaves out is that Jesus spoke of a resurrection in "the hour.. in the which all that are in the graves" would hear His voice--the "hour" being clearly the same time for both classes.  No, John 5 is not describing two widely-separated resurrection events. It makes no sense to interpret it that way.

 

The description of the resurrection of the righteous dead in I Thessalonians 4 ( so often cited by those who believe in a singular resurrection of the righteous, with the unrighteous "left behind" to await some future separate judgment),  was not intended by the writer (Paul) to be a comprehensive description of the resurrection of the dead.  As is clearly discerned from the context, the apostle was responding not to some request for general information about the events accompanying the resurrection.  He was providing comfort to those who were in need of knowledge about those who had died in Christ and in hope.  Here is what he said by way of introducing his account of the state of the righteous dead:

 

I Thess. 4

 

13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first....

 

In this passage, Paul did not address the resurrection and judgment of the unrighteous dead because that was not the subject of concern by his inquirers in the Thessalonian church.  

 

The "voice" of the Lord in John 5:28 and the "shout" of the Lord in I Thess. 4:16 are obviously the same.  That "voice" and that "shout" proclaim the same event, the second and final coming of Christ, when  the redeemed will arise to the "resurrection of life" and the unrighteous shall come forth to the "resurrection of ****ation."  Judgment will be executed upon both classes and that judgment will be final.

 

The concept of the "rapture" as taught by today's premillennialists simply can not be squared with the description  in John 5 of the CONCURRENT resurrection and judgment (in the same "hour") of the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead.  The notions of some later third coming of Christ and some later  "Great White Throne Judgment" separate from the return of Christ and the judgment described by the Lord Himself in John 5  require all too much scripture twisting to be credible to any serious Bible student attempting to "rightly divide the word of truth." 


The Bible clearly teaches that the righteous dead and the unrighteous dead will be resurrected at the same time.  The ultimate eternal fates of the evil and the good will then have been irrevocably determined, leaving no need for any subsequent resurrections or judgments.

quote:   Originally Posted by A. Robustus:

If the Bible "clearly" taught anything there'd be no need for threads like these.


Hi Robust,

 

Since God gave all men the gift of "free will" -- there will always be those atheists who are spiritually blind and will continue to throw trash and mud into the clear, clean Living Waters of God's Word.  So, there will always be a need for Christians to share the Gospel to, in effect, filter the wormwood from the Truth for those who are new in the faith or who are beginning to seek the Truth. 

 

So, my Friend, you just keep doing your leader's bidding and keep throwing in the trash -- and, we Christians will continue to do our God's will and filter you out.

 

God bless, have wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Hi Contendah,

 

My original post shows, from Scripture why I believe in the PreTrib Rapture.  However, since I have no idea where you are coming from -- you and I cannot have a dialogue.   You see, I do not know if you are quoting from a Bible -- or from a Richard Dawkin's take on the Bible. 

 

And, since you are ashamed to tell us if you are a Christian believer or not -- how can we have a dialogue?   We do need a level playing field -- even if your team wears Atheist Black.  At least then we both could know what to expect from the other.  But, when you hide behind a lot of bluster (which is typical of the atheist team) and will not even tell us about yourself; how can the two of us have a discussion?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Matthew 24:29-31 ASV

29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Hi Winston,

 

That is a good start -- but, you stopped short.  You posted the Scripture passage -- and, then, for whatever reason -- forgot to tell us what it means.  But, I am sure you will come on back and tell us more about that passage and what it says to you.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Gee Bill, it's pretty clear to me what Winston is saying he believes. I can tell by the part he put in bold text. Immediately after the tribulation...and they shall gather his elect from the four winds. That pretty much says it all.

 

And for possibly the first time since he joined the forums, I agree with him.

Originally Posted by O No!:

Gee Bill, it's pretty clear to me what Winston is saying he believes. I can tell by the part he put in bold text. Immediately after the tribulation...and they shall gather his elect from the four winds. That pretty much says it all.

 

And for possibly the first time since he joined the forums, I agree with him.

---------------------------

Thats right O No, the numbers just keep growing

 

.

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Winston,

 

That is a good start -- but, you stopped short.  You posted the Scripture passage -- and, then, for whatever reason -- forgot to tell us what it means.  But, I am sure you will come on back and tell us more about that passage and what it says to you.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

It pretty well speaks for itself. First, the tribulation. Then, the rapture. And it's the red-letter words of Jesus. 

Hi Winston,

When I questioned the fact that you only posted the Scripture passage from Matthew 24:29-31 -- but gave no explanation, O No responds, "Gee Bill, it's pretty clear to me what Winston is saying he believes.  I can tell by the part he put in bold text.  Immediately after the tribulation...and they shall gather his elect from the four winds.  That pretty much says it all."

And, you reply, "It pretty well speaks for itself.  First, the tribulation.  Then, the rapture.  And it's the red-letter words of Jesus."

Yes, this passage is the words of Jesus Christ.  But, what is He telling us?  All Scripture must agree -- or we have the wrong interpretation.

You leave out a few very important events.  Assuming the Tribulation does happen -- and, THEN, the Rapture -- where is the Bride of Christ, the church, during the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9)?  Is there going to be a wedding WITHOUT the Bride?   Since we know that Revelation 19 tells us that the Wedding Feast of the Lamb occurs -- and, then, His Second Coming; how did He have a wedding without His bride?

And, before the Bride can be wed to the Groom, Jesus Christ -- she must be prepared.  We read in Revelation 19:7-8, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His Bride has made herself readyIt was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."

So, here we read that the Bride of Christ, the church, must prepare herself for the Groom.  How is this accomplished?  First, the Bride has to be in heaven with the Groom; second, the Bride must have already stood before Christ in judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, 1 Peter 5:4) at the Bema Seat Judgment, or Believer's Judgment.  Until the Bride has stood at this judgment;  there is no way she can be dressed in fine linens and prepared to wed her Groom.

How can any of this happen IF the Bride, the church, is still on earth during the Tribulation?

So, obviously the Scripture passage found in Matthew 24:29-31 MUST be speaking of His Second Coming, when He will return to earth in glory and establish His 1000 year Millennial Reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem.

This is shown in this passage when it says, "after the Tribulation" and is affirmed when we are told, in this passage, of all the events of wrath occurring -- which we know from Revelation will only occur during the seven year Tribulation.  And, it is confirmed when we are told in Matthew 24:30, "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and  they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

At the Rapture Christ will come IN the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18), not to the earth, i.e., His Second Coming.  Only the believers, the church, will see and experience this event -- and the rest of the world, the secular world, will be wondering and speculating about where those billions of people went.  They suddenly disappeared -- to where?

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the  Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up   
(harpazo, rapiemur, rapture) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.   Therefore comfort one another with these words."

The Rapture has to occur BEFORE the Tribulation -- for during that seven years, according to the Bible, the church will stand before Christ in the Believer's Judgment, be given the clean white linen robes of His righteousness, and made ready for her Groom.  Then, the Wedding -- and, at the end of the seven years -- His Second Coming as described in Matthew 24:29-31.

Matthew 24:29-31 (nkjv), "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

What does this passage mean when it tells us, " . . .and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of  heaven to the other"?

Who will be "His elect" who will be gathered?  It will be the believers who survive the seven year Tribulation and are still on earth.

At the end of the seven year Tribulation, there will be believers (sheep) and non-believers (goats) who have survived the horrible Tribulation.  One of the first things to happen after Christ returns to earth will be the "Sheep and Goat Judgment" (Matthew 25:31-46).  Christ will say to those on His right, the sheep, ". . . inherit the kingdom prepared for you" (Matt 25:34).  But, to the non-believers,  the goats, He will send ". . .away into eternal punishment"  (Matt 25:46).

The sheep, i.e., those believers who survive the Tribulation, will enter His 1000 year Millennial Reign on earth in their mortal bodies --  and will continue to marry and have children.  Those of us who have been raptured, along with the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints, will share His Millennial Reign, His perfect Theocracy, with the mortal believers who survived the Tribulation.

One more solid piece of evidence that Matthew 24:29-31 is speaking of His Second Coming and not the Rapture is found in Matthew 24:36 which tells us, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

In other words, His coming in the clouds to Rapture His church is IMMINENT, i.e., a moment no one knows, but, which could happen at any moment.

If the Rapture, His coming for His Bride, would happen during (MidTrib or PreWrath) the Tribulation -- or after (PostTrib) the Tribulation -- everyone will know when He is coming.   In that case, there would be no IMMINENCY.  We would all know exactly when He will return.

 

This cannot be for His coming to Rapture His church IS imminent.  And, once again, this is why the passage in Matthew 24:29-31 is speaking of His Second Coming -- not the Rapture.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:
quote:   Originally Posted by A. Robustus:

If the Bible "clearly" taught anything there'd be no need for threads like these.


Hi Robust,

 

Since God gave all men the gift of "free will" -- there will always be those atheists who are spiritually blind and will continue to throw trash and mud into the clear, clean Living Waters of God's Word.  So, there will always be a need for Christians to share the Gospel to, in effect, filter the wormwood from the Truth for those who are new in the faith or who are beginning to seek the Truth. 

 

So, my Friend, you just keep doing your leader's bidding and keep throwing in the trash -- and, we Christians will continue to do our God's will and filter you out.

 

God bless, have wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

===

I wasn't talking about myself or atheists at all.

 

I was pointing out that Christians vehemently and fundamentally disagree with each other over what the Bible supposedly "clearly" says. What a joke. You guys have literally murdered and tortured one another over what is "clearly" taught in your bible. The "clear, clean Living Waters of God's Word" run crimson with the blood of other Christians.

 

Atheists have nothing to do with this, except to point out the nauseating hypocrisy, as always. If your god was great and the Bible was clear, there'd be no disagreement between Christians who are "spiritually" sighted and imbued by the power of the Holy Spirit...

Originally Posted by JimiHendrix:
You can believe in anything you want; that won't, however, make it true.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Your -- I hate God and all believers doesn't make your lies true.

You don't believe the Bible? then don't, but do cry about it.

 

.

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

My original post shows, from Scripture why I believe in the PreTrib Rapture.  However, since I have no idea where you are coming from -- you and I cannot have a dialogue.   You see, I do not know if you are quoting from a Bible -- or from a Richard Dawkin's take on the Bible. 

 

And, since you are ashamed to tell us if you are a Christian believer or not -- how can we have a dialogue?   We do need a level playing field -- even if your team wears Atheist Black.  At least then we both could know what to expect from the other.  But, when you hide behind a lot of bluster (which is typical of the atheist team) and will not even tell us about yourself; how can the two of us have a discussion?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

*******

 

For the record, I AM a "Christian believer," although that term seems redundant, since there is no such thing as a "Christian non-believer." 

 

I definitely do NOT hold with atheism.

 

As to my sources, if you have read my post, above, you should be able to figure out that I quoted from the Bible, specifically from the Gospel of John and the book of I Thessalonians. As to the interpretive portions of my post, that is entirely my product, not relying on Dawkins or anyone else.  The "take" is mine.

 

I am not sure what you regard as "bluster" but if you choose to explain that, I suggest that you first look up the definition of that word and then explain how anything I have posted in response to you equates to "bluster."  I suggest that you make a better effort to respond to the actual substance of what I posted above rather than attempting to besmirch it with the accusation that I am submitting "bluster."

Originally Posted by Contendah:
Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

My original post shows, from Scripture why I believe in the PreTrib Rapture.  However, since I have no idea where you are coming from -- you and I cannot have a dialogue.   You see, I do not know if you are quoting from a Bible -- or from a Richard Dawkin's take on the Bible. 

 

And, since you are ashamed to tell us if you are a Christian believer or not -- how can we have a dialogue?   We do need a level playing field -- even if your team wears Atheist Black.  At least then we both could know what to expect from the other.  But, when you hide behind a lot of bluster (which is typical of the atheist team) and will not even tell us about yourself; how can the two of us have a discussion?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

*******

 

For the record, I AM a "Christian believer," although that term seems redundant, since there is no such thing as a "Christian non-believer." 

 

I definitely do NOT hold with atheism.

 

As to my sources, if you have read my post, above, you should be able to figure out that I quoted from the Bible, specifically from the Gospel of John and the book of I Thessalonians. As to the interpretive portions of my post, that is entirely my product, not relying on Dawkins or anyone else.  The "take" is mine.

 

I am not sure what you regard as "bluster" but if you choose to explain that, I suggest that you first look up the definition of that word and then explain how anything I have posted in response to you equates to "bluster."  I suggest that you make a better effort to respond to the actual substance of what I posted above rather than attempting to besmirch it with the accusation that I am submitting "bluster."

---------------------------------------------

Contendah, You aren't from around here are you?

 

Iv

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "For the record, I AM a 'Christian believer,' although that term seems redundant, since there is no such thing as a 'Christian non-believer.'"

 

True, there is no such person as a "Christian non-believer" -- but, there are atheist believers, i.e., those who believe in and follow the teachings of the religion of atheism; there are New Age believers, i.e., those who believe in and follow the many New Age religions; there are world religion believers, etcs.   Virtually all pagan, cult, and world religions have believers who follow them.

 

So, saying I am a Christian believer, i.e., one who follows Jesus Christ is not redundant.  It is a proud declaration that we follow the ONLY path to eternal life in Christ, that we follow the ONLY Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Now that I have covered that smoke screen.  I AM A BAPTIST.   HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

As I said earlier, if you are ashamed to admit which church you attend, or if you attend a church -- maybe you need to reexamine that church or yourself.

 

There is another gentleman who has been on the Religion Forum for years who had the same problem as you -- absolutely refused to tell us which church he attended.  Finally, after a very long time -- he admitted that the last time he had been inside a church was so long ago, he was not sure how to find the door.  I keep telling him that he should not wait until six strong men take him inside a church again.   Does this all sound strangely familiar to YOU?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

True, there is no such person as a "Christian non-believer" --

---

 

That is untrue.

Thomas Jefferson was Christian non-believer. He belived in the existence of Jesus and believed strongly that civilized man should try to emulate him.  TJ disbelieved in all the supernatural crap that is attributed to Jesus.  He even (secretly, while in office) made his own bible, called the Jefferson Bible, http://articles.latimes.com/20...05/local/me-beliefs5

 

There are many Christ followers out there who do not believe in the diety of Jesus but try to follow his example.  I was even one of those for a while before I admitted my non-belief to myself.

 

If one is going to emulate some other being, I think Gandhi would be a better choice,  He actually did exist.

Originally Posted by Unobtanium:
Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

True, there is no such person as a "Christian non-believer" --

---

 

That is untrue.

Thomas Jefferson was Christian non-believer. He belived in the existence of Jesus and believed strongly that civilized man should try to emulate him.  TJ disbelieved in all the supernatural crap that is attributed to Jesus.  He even (secretly, while in office) made his own bible, called the Jefferson Bible, http://articles.latimes.com/20...05/local/me-beliefs5

 

There are many Christ followers out there who do not believe in the diety of Jesus but try to follow his example.  I was even one of those for a while before I admitted my non-belief to myself.

 

If one is going to emulate some other being, I think Gandhi would be a better choice,  He actually did exist.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

So you're saying TJ is a liar.

 

.

Originally Posted by Unobtanium:
Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

True, there is no such person as a "Christian non-believer" --

---

 

That is untrue.

Thomas Jefferson was Christian non-believer. He belived in the existence of Jesus and believed strongly that civilized man should try to emulate him.  TJ disbelieved in all the supernatural crap that is attributed to Jesus.  He even (secretly, while in office) made his own bible, called the Jefferson Bible, http://articles.latimes.com/20...05/local/me-beliefs5

 

There are many Christ followers out there who do not believe in the diety of Jesus but try to follow his example.  I was even one of those for a while before I admitted my non-belief to myself.

 

If one is going to emulate some other being, I think Gandhi would be a better choice,  He actually did exist.

******

 

When I used the term "believer," it was within a frame of reference that I should have explained for those not familiar with the New Testament use of the term "believer."  An example is found in Acts 5:14:

"And believers were the more added  to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." See I Tim. 4:12, also.

 

"Believers" and "believer" are used as synonyms for followers of Christ or "Christians."  Thus, it is unnecessary to use both "Christian" and "believer(s)" to identify such persons. Hence the "redundancy."

Similarly, when the New Testament speaks of one who has "believed," that is a way of saying that he has become a Christian. See Acts 8:13 & 17:12.

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

You tell me, "For the record, I AM a 'Christian believer,' although that term seems redundant, since there is no such thing as a 'Christian non-believer.'"

 

True, there is no such person as a "Christian non-believer" -- but, there are atheist believers, i.e., those who believe in and follow the teachings of the religion of atheism; there are New Age believers, i.e., those who believe in and follow the many New Age religions; there are world religion believers, etcs.   Virtually all pagan, cult, and world religions have believers who follow them.

 

So, saying I am a Christian believer, i.e., one who follows Jesus Christ is not redundant.  It is a proud declaration that we follow the ONLY path to eternal life in Christ, that we follow the ONLY Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Now that I have covered that smoke screen.  I AM A BAPTIST.   HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

As I said earlier, if you are ashamed to admit which church you attend, or if you attend a church -- maybe you need to reexamine that church or yourself.

 

There is another gentleman who has been on the Religion Forum for years who had the same problem as you -- absolutely refused to tell us which church he attended.  Finally, after a very long time -- he admitted that the last time he had been inside a church was so long ago, he was not sure how to find the door.  I keep telling him that he should not wait until six strong men take him inside a church again.   Does this all sound strangely familiar to YOU?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

*****

 

If you are a "Christian," then you are, by definition, one who believes in Christ. See my reply to Unobtanium, below.

 

I remain available to consider any response you might offer to what I posted concerning the "Rapture" and "resurrection." I have framed the issue clearly.  Answer if you feel  competently disposed to do so. 

Thank you, Contendah,

You have answered my question.   You are NOT a Christian believer.  I am not sure what you are; but, from your answers below --  you are NOT a Christian believer.

You say, "Thomas Jefferson was Christian non-believer.  He belived (sic) in the existence of Jesus and believed strongly that civilized  man should try to emulate him.  TJ disbelieved in all the supernatural crap that is attributed to Jesus."

No, according to that description you have given us -- Jefferson would not be a Christian believer.  He would have been exactly as I  was until I was fifty years old, and as millions of others are -- who believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, maybe even believe He is the Son of God -- but, have not yet become Christ Followers.

In other words, they wear the Christian hat -- for whatever reason.  But, they do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  As  I said, I was in that condition until I was fifty years old.  But, praise God, since then I am a Christian believer and will spend eternity  in the presence of God.

Then, you declare, "He even (secretly, while in office) made his own bible, called the Jefferson Bible,  http://articles.latimes.com/20...05/local/me-beliefs5 "

No, he did not make his own Bible.  He merely did what many wayward denominations and churches do today -- he took the true  Bible, and by cut and paste, he cherry picked the parts he liked and discarded the rest.  Why do you think we have so many  different denominations and misled churches today?  They cherry pick the parts of Scripture which fit their predetermined theology --  and use only that.  Not a Jefferson Bible --  A CHERRY PICKED BIBLE.

Next, you declare, "There are many Christ followers out there who do not believe in the diety (sic) of Jesus but try to follow his  example.  I was even one of those for a while before I admitted my non-belief to myself."

Any person, or church, which denies the deity of Jesus Christ IS NOT CHRISTIAN.   You say that you deny the deity of Jesus  Christ; then YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN.  It is as simple as that.

You declare, "If one is going to emulate some other being, I think Gandhi would be a better choice.  He actually did exist."

Now, we are getting down to the nitty gritty, to where the rubber meets the road.  You are denying that Jesus Christ even exists?

Need I say more?  You do not believe that Jesus Christ exists!  Then, most likely you do not believe that God exists.  Therefore,  welcome to the ranks of the church of atheism, the church of NOTHING.   Your declarations have just made you a charter member.   Say hello to Richard Dawkins for me.

Finally, you tell us, "When I used the term "believer," it was within a frame of reference that I should have explained for those not  familiar with the New Testament use of the term "believer."  An example is found in Acts 5:14: "And believers were the more added  to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." See I Tim. 4:12, also.

"Believers" and "believer" are used as synonyms for followers of Christ or "Christians."  Thus, it is unnecessary to use both  "Christian" and "believer(s)" to identify such persons. Hence the "redundancy."  Similarly, when the New Testament speaks of one  who has "believed," that is a way of saying that he has become a Christian. See Acts 8:13 & 17:12."

That is so true, a person who, by the grace of God, has confessed faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) as the preexisting Son of God (John 1:1) and in His virgin birth, His atoning death, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven, where He is interceding continually for all believers -- IS A CHRISTIAN BELIEVER.

However, since you have just denied all of this in your belief system -- YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN BELIEVER.

On the other hand, a person can BELIEVE in atheism, in pagan religions, in New Age religions, in cult religions, etc.  All of these  people are BELIEVERS; they are just not Christian Believers -- and therefore, do not have eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Contendah, thank you for clarifying the issue of your belief or non-belief system.  Now that we know you are an atheist, we can respond to you as we would any other atheist.  Or, are you going to tell us you are a Mormon -- or a Jehovah's Witness?  But, not a problem, if either of those were my religion, I would not admit it either.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Thank you, Contendah,

You have answered my question.   You are NOT a Christian believer.  I am not sure what you are; but, from your answers below --  you are NOT a Christian believer.

You say, "Thomas Jefferson was Christian non-believer.  He belived (sic) in the existence of Jesus and believed strongly that civilized  man should try to emulate him.  TJ disbelieved in all the supernatural crap that is attributed to Jesus."

No, according to that description you have given us -- Jefferson would not be a Christian believer.

-----

 

That was ME who wrote that, dummy.

Contendah had stated his belief in the deity of Christ a number of times and defends his stance with aplomb  For bonus points, he doesn't even sound too nutty.

Hi Contendah,

 

I owe you a really big apology.   Because what Uno had written appeared to be part of your writing, I wrote a response to you -- when it should have been addressed to UNO.  While I know it is no excuse -- in this new forum format, it is often very hard to determine who wrote what.  But, in taking a second look -- I realized my mistake.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME. 

 

And, I will have to admit -- those comments do ring much more true to Uno, an avowed atheist.

 

I pray that you will forgive what I wrote addressed to you -- and that we can continue to be Friends.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Bill, all I can say is when I read your posts (well, the parts that aren't quotes from a book) and feel the judgments, dismissals, insults, and aggression coming off them, but then see:

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

I am reminded again of the difference between the Christians and others I know how are loving and sincerely caring of all people and other creatures, and the ones who are so busy telling everyone else how to live they forget to love and care for others themselves.  I am not trying to be nasty I promise, but really your signature after telling people how useless/wrong/low they are and how they are going to hell is like a neon sign flashing out like a guy who stabs someone and smiles at them lying bleeding, but then says, "God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day"   It makes no sense to me.  Well, it does on some levels, but not on a logical or loving one.

Originally Posted by A. Robustus:

If the Bible "clearly" taught anything there'd be no need for threads like these.

*******

 

Things clearly taught are susceptible to not being understood by those who bring to the table their irrational biases and preconceptions. This is true not only in religion, but in virtually all areas of human understanding.

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

Hi Contendah,

 

I owe you a really big apology.   Because what Uno had written appeared to be part of your writing, I wrote a response to you -- when it should have been addressed to UNO.  While I know it is no excuse -- in this new forum format, it is often very hard to determine who wrote what.  But, in taking a second look -- I realized my mistake.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME. 

 

And, I will have to admit -- those comments do ring much more true to Uno, an avowed atheist.

 

I pray that you will forgive what I wrote addressed to you -- and that we can continue to be Friends.

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

*****

 

You mistake is understandable. Your apology is fully accepted.

 

Now that this "Christian believer" stuff has been dealt with, when will you go back to my post (August 20, 9:54 p.m.) concerning the second coming and the resurrection and try to provide an answer?

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:

 Most Conservative Christian believers, such as me, believe that the Rapture of the church, the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ -- will occur "like a thief in the night" (imminency, i.e., that Jesus Christ will return, but, no one except God knows the time) and, then, in a short time after the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin.

I disagree.  Most Conservative Christian believers I know (that would make up about 90% of the believers I know) see it as one of several possibilities, none of which have been proven to be correct.  They realize that God knows the plan...so no worries.

Hi Joy,

In my earlier post, I wrote, "Most Conservative Christian believers, such as me, believe that the Rapture of the church, the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ -- will occur "like a thief in the night" (imminency, i.e., that Jesus Christ will return, but, no one except God knows the time) and, then, in a short time after the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin."

And, you reply, "I disagree.  Most Conservative Christian believers I know (that would make up about 90% of the believers I know) see it as one of several possibilities, none of which have been proven to be correct.  They realize that God knows the plan...so no worries."

It always leaves me wondering when a person writes a belief, as I have in this discussion -- and, another replies with, "I disagree" --  but, offers no alternative belief to support that disbelief.

Joy, you say that 90% of your Christian friends see it as one of several possibilities -- but, you do not tell us any of those possibilities.   Yes, God does indeed know His plan.   So, does that mean that we are not to search Scripture in an effort to understand what He has told us in His Word.  Would He have written about eschatology if He did not want us to seek an understanding of the End Times?

Would He have put the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom -- in His Written Word -- if He did not want us to seek to understand them?

Okay, let's back up.  I wrote, "Most Conservative Christian believers, such as me, believe that the Rapture of the church, the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ -- will occur "like a thief in the night" (imminency, i.e., that Jesus Christ will return, but, no one except God knows the time)."

What is it in that statement with which you disagree?  Do you not believe there will be a Rapture of the church?  Or, do you believe in the Rapture -- but, not in a PreTrib Rapture?

Do you believe in the imminency of His return to rapture His church?

And, then I wrote, "and, then, in a short time after the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin."

Is this where you disagree with me -- that there will be a Tribulation -- or that it comes after the Rapture -- or that it will be seven years?

Joy, you can see that you have me very puzzled.  Just saying, "I disagree" -- is only the beginning.  If you disagree -- then, tell us where you disagree -- and what you believe about eschatology, the End Times.  I am sure your church teaches eschatology.  What does your church teach?

I cannot dialogue with, "I disagree."   I need a wee bit more than that for us to continue.  And, if you declare that you do not want a dialogue -- then, why did you jump into the pool?

Tell me what you believe -- and let's go from there.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by frog:

Bill, all I can say is when I read your posts (well, the parts that aren't quotes from a book) and feel the judgments, dismissals, insults, and aggression coming off them, but then see:

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

I am reminded again of the difference between the Christians and others I know how are loving and sincerely caring of all people and other creatures, and the ones who are so busy telling everyone else how to live they forget to love and care for others themselves.  I am not trying to be nasty I promise, but really your signature after telling people how useless/wrong/low they are and how they are going to hell is like a neon sign flashing out like a guy who stabs someone and smiles at them lying bleeding, but then says, "God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day"   It makes no sense to me.  Well, it does on some levels, but not on a logical or loving one.

*********************************************************************************

Finally! Someone that says what I've been saying all along about Bill. But it doesn't make any sense to me on any level. Bill doesn't know anything about love/compassion, never has, never will.

And have you noticed he goes even further with his "God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day" & calls all of us his Friends??!?  Kinda makes you sick to your stomach, don't it?

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